Out to Launch

Here they come, yo, here they come. Who? The Kia Soul hamsters have returned in a TV spot called "This or That," with snippets of Black Sheep's "The Choice is Yours" playing throughout. It feels like 1991 again, and I like it. A city of hamsters go about their day, driving cardboard boxes, toasters, washing machines and hamster wheels, except a trio of hamsters cruising in a Kia Soul. Shot music video-style, the hip hamsters compare their well-equipped Soul with less than worthy competition, telling viewers, "you can get with this or you can get with that." Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

Dodge Caravan released extended versions of "Alright, Kittens" and "Turncoat," originally covered here. The extended ads still leave me with unanswered questions, but one thing is certain: having "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall as a voiceover still simultaneously excites and scares me. Strange things happen in abandoned warehouses in "Alright, Kittens." A group of people arrive, donning cat masks, only to be met by people wearing mouse masks. A mask stare-down ensues, until a group wearing dog masks appear, causing both groups to disperse. See it here. A lone elephant is seen running in the desert by an eclectic group on an unknown trip. One man asks if this sight is normal -- and next thing you know, the GPS is being directed to the emergency room and a man pulls a large syringe from his briefcase. Who or what is being sedated? Watch it here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the ads.

Britax, a car seat and stroller manufacturer, launched a viral video and in-store campaign this week promoting its new stroller models, available at the end of June. Creative touts the stroller design, crafted to mimic a mother's embrace. The ads showcase naked mothers holding their children, juxtaposed with similar positions held by Britax strollers. "Thoughtfully designed to fit you and your child," closes the viral, seen here. In-store ads are similar to viral work, featuring naked moms holding naked babies. See it here. Gotham created the campaign.

Visa created "Go Fans," a worldwide campaign promoting Visa's partnership of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. "Anthem," along with most World Cup ads, showcases cultural and economic differences among countries. These differences are cast away for one month every four years when countries unite with a shared love of football. The spot features footage of fans expressing game jubilation, sadness and nervousness while country flag colors are prominently displayed. Watch it here. In addition, customized print ads were created, showing a passionate fan, country colors and the copy: "express your true colors with the easier way to pay." See creative here and here. TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles created the campaign.

Here's a look at the print element from Nike's global football brand campaign, "Write the Future." The campaign's centerpiece is a three-minute spot, also named "Write the Future." Print ads celebrate how one moment on the field will be etched in the memory of those fortunate enough to witness it, and preserved in statue form for future generations. "Defend your legacy," says an ad memorializing Cannavaro kicking a ball away from the goal. See it here. "Weave your way to immortality," says an ad featuring Robinho moving past a defender. See it here. Click here, here, here and here, to see additional ads with Drogba, Ronaldo, Rooney and Ribery. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam created the campaign.

Leave it to Apple to craft an ad featuring equal parts of iPad and lap/feet shots and make it work. The ad poses the question, "What is iPad." It's the product that sold 2 million devices in two months. Not one for tooting its own horn... loudly, the voiceover defines iPad for viewers. "It's 200,000 apps and counting. All the world's Web sites in your hands. It's video, photos, more books than you can read in a lifetime. It's already a revolution. And it's only just begun." Like I said; subtle. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab.

Southwest Airlines rejected this PETA ad for its in-flight magazine, Spirit, deeming it too sexy. I don't think it's that bad. For PETA, it's pretty tame. How do you feel about it? The ad, promoting a vegan diet, shows an airport security scan of a woman clad in a bra and underwear that says: "be proud of your body scan: go vegan."


With summer unofficially here, let's take a look at a campaign launched earlier this year by MADD Canada, urging drivers to call 911 and report drivers suspected of being under the influence. "Campaign 911" features four TV spots, set in a talk-show format. The show, "Stayin' on the Road," hosts a variety of guests who share their secrets to driving while impaired. "Hal" uses the digit method to stay on the road. See it here. "Lenny" believes that going straight, and not making turns while driving, keeps him safe. If there's a bend in the road, keep going straight. Watch it here. "Rob" takes the back roads because sobriety checkpoints are found on main roads. See it here. "Ryan" always keeps a penny handy when driving impaired. He sucks on it in an effort to beat a Breathalyzer test. Watch it here. "There are a lot of idiots out there. Help us keep them off the road," concludes each ad. TBWA/Toronto created the ads, directed by Adam Massey of Holiday Films.

Random iPhone App of the week: The Meredith Women's Network launched a Mixing Bowl app that gives users access to the recipes and activities on MixingBowl.com, Meredith's social networking site for foodies. Mixing Bowl members can access recipes and friends from anywhere. Need an ingredient list while grocery shopping? Done. Want to learn how to make authentic pho or bouillabaisse? The app allows users to rate and share recipes and chat with others while cooking. Sourcebits developed the free app available in the App Store.

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